Australia’s progress in vaccinating some of its highest-priority citizens has been slower than anyone wanted, but one Melbourne aged care provider is streets ahead of the rest, ABC News reports.
In the next few weeks, private provider TLC Aged Care is likely to become the first residential aged care company to have all residents and staff fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
They’ve got there by taking matters into their own hands.
“We really didn’t want our residents, staff or contractors to endure another winter with the nervousness and trepidation that they have endured over the last 16 months,” CEO Lou Pascuzzi said.
“We’ve got immunisation capabilities and primary care capabilities.
“We decided to approach the government … and ask for permission to administer phase 1a ourselves.”
The federal government agreed to send Pfizer doses, and TLC Aged Care started immunising in the second week of March.
“We’re now three weeks away from completing double doses for all of our 1,500 residents and 2,000 staff and contractors,” Mr Pascuzzi said.
The company is also claiming a high uptake rate for the vaccine, with 91.25 per cent of staff and residents taking up the opportunity to get a shot.
But the TLC model is not one that can be rolled out widely in aged care, as most residential homes don’t have the medical facilities or expertise to deliver immunisations.
Nationally, around 153,000 doses have been administered in the Commonwealth aged care rollout as of last week.
That represents around a quarter of the vaccination program for just residents of aged care homes.
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